MSUToday
Published: Nov. 6, 2019

MSU administrators honored with research administrator award

Contact(s): Erin Schlicher Sponsored Programs Administration office: (517) 884-4269 schlic11@osp.msu.edu

Erin Gorman, director of research operations with health colleges research services for the College of Human Medicine and Barb Miller, research administrator with the research office in the College of Arts and Letters are the recipients of the Fall 2019 Unit Research Administrator Spotlight, or RAS, awards.

MSU’s research administration offices, sponsored programs administration, or SPA, the office of sponsored programs, or OSP, and contract and grant administration, or CGA, sponsor the award, which was established in the fall of 2017.

The award recognizes the professional contributions and quality of service of MSU’s unit research administrators and encourages excellence and exemplary service through the model of “The Spartan Experience.”

Recipients of the award play an integral role in advancing MSU’s research mission and lead by example. The RAS serves as recognition of such MSU employees and inspiration to others who aspire to the same level of service.

A recommendation panel, which included two faculty members, a previous Spotlight Award recipient and two SPA/OSP/CGA staff recommended Gorman and Miller to receive this award for the fall of 2019.

Gorman, who has 15 years’ experience in research administration with over 10 years of service at MSU shares what she likes about being a research administrator.

“The most gratifying part of my job is knowing that our team helps alleviate the administrative burden of proposal preparation and compliance for our faculty,” she said.

Gorman’s nomination states that she considers people, purpose and best practices throughout her service to MSU and truly understands the research administrators’ role to assist faculty to garner funding.

 “We have a great network of research administrators across all units at MSU that are happy to help mentor folks interested in a career in the field,” Gorman said.

Miller has 24 years of experience in research administration. Her ten years of service at MSU includes time with central and campus units. 

“I enjoy helping our faculty and students find funding for their research, scholarly and creative activities,” Miller said. “I love the people I work with. You can do the same work anywhere, but it’s the people that make all the difference. Arts and Letters has provided me with flexibility in my work schedule and my research associate dean and administrative supervisor have encouraged me in my professional development.”

Miller’s nomination was supported by several faculty and staff and noted that energy, professionalism and courtesy are Miller’s signature qualities. She is knowledgeable and technically savvy, but beyond her skills and technical abilities, it is her relationship-building acumen that makes her invaluable as a contributor to the college. 

“Research administration is the type of job where you constantly encounter new things and new issues,” Miller said. “Things don’t stay the same for long, so I’ve found flexibility is an important key to enjoying the work.” 

Along with this honor, Gorman and Miller are recognized with a plaque and a small financial token of appreciation. They are also featured in the SPA Fall 2019 Newsletter.